Asylum: government approves 'safe country' list

The Belgian Government has approved a list of safe countries. The decision should allow asylum applications to be processed more quickly.

Most of the countries on the list are located in the Balkans. Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo and Serbia all feature on the list. In practice it will be virtually impossible to qualify for political asylum if you hail from one of these countries.

Maggie De Block (Flemish liberal), Belgium's Secretary of State for Asylum , said that the list should have a deterrent effect and should lead to a drop in asylum applications.

In future asylum applications from countries on the safe list have to be processed within 15 days. A fifth of all asylum seekers hailed from the Balkans and India last year.